February 26, 2018, 11:28 am
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PSC poised to file raps vs karate official

FINDING bases in the grievances filed by national team karatekas who trained in Europe last year, the Philippine Sports Commission is set to file criminal charges against Philippine Karatedo Federation secretary general Raymund Lee Reyes while withdrawing its recognition of the PKF as the National Sports Association for the sport.

“The commission has likewise withdrawn the privilege granted to the PKF-NSA, Inc. to occupy an office space at the Philippine Sports Complex,” PSC executive director Atty. Sannah Frivaldo, who led the PSC probe into the allegations, said yesterday in a press conference at the PSC audio-visual room of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

Also present at the briefing were Commissioners Charles Maxey, Ramon Fernandez and Atty. Dennis Apostol, a member of the PSC Task Force that investigated the controversy and helped consolidate the pieces of evidence against Reyes.

Led by former world kata champion OJ delos Santos, the athletes accused Reyes of failing to release all of the $1,800 in allowances intended for them for their training stint just before the 2017 Malaysian Southeast Asian Games, based on the PSC board resolution approving the trip.

They claimed they merely got 600 euros (roughly $735) each from Reyes. They also claimed they paid for their Shengen (European) visas as well their respective airport terminal fees not only during last year’s European engagement but also in previous trips abroad.

“Malversation,” replied Frivaldo on what charges the government sports agency would file against Reyes, adding the PSC was also awaiting the findings and recommendations of the National Bureau Investigation which had been asked by the PSC to conduct a separate probe on the issue.

She said that “as of now, Reyes is the only person that we intend to file charges against.

“Once we get the results of the NBI probe, we will file the corresponding charges immediately,” she added.

The investigation stemmed from the complaint of the karatekas, who approached PSC chief Butch Ramirez regarding the withheld allowances last December after they learned from Fernandez the real amount they were supposed to get based on the PSC board resolution budget regarding the training camp.

This prompted Ramirez to suspend financial support to the PKF, prevent its officials in talking to the athletes, while launching an investigation into the controversy.

“Upon inspection of the liquidation report submitted by Raymund Lee Reyes, the Task Force was able to determine inconsistencies in the said liquidation report,” Frivaldo read in a statement.

The PSC noted that the “travels (of the team) were not strictly in accordance with the approved itinerary.”

It pointed out that Reyes’s liquidation report did not “reflect the hotel accommodations” at which the athletes stayed in Europe.

Based on the PSC board-approved budget, $2,000 was earmarked for a van that should have transported the delegation from airport to hotel (and) vice versa; everyday transportation to the training venue, and transportation going to tournament/seminars.

“According to coaches Ireneo Soriano and Ali Parvinfar, they used public transport in going to and from the dojos,” Frivaldo said.

She added that “the expenses for (the) medical care of Kimverly Madrona were not reported as well. It appears that the athlete bumped her head during practice.”

“These are serious violations that warrant the filing of cases in the appropriate courts of law,” said Frivaldo, adding the PSC is awaiting the response of PKF president Joey Romasanta.

Frivaldo said the karatekas in the national pool would continue to receive support from the PSC but national head coach David Lay would be dropped from the PSC payroll.

In the meantime, she added, the services of Iranian coach Parvinfar, whose contract with the PSC expired last December, would be extended until the Indonesia Asian Games in August.
 
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